Why do cats cough up hairballs?

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Cat grooming itself
Everyone wonders why cats cough up hairballs and how they can be prevented
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Hairballs are a part of life for cats.

In "Shrek 2," the character Puss 'n Boots comes upon Shrek and Donkey in the forest, and promptly begins gagging and heaving. After he gets himself under control, he apologizes and says, "Hairball."

Most cats will cough up a hairball now and then, but there are things you can do to help prevent them.

What Causes a Hairball?

A cat grooms itself by licking its fur with its rough tongue. As it grooms, loose hair comes away from the cat's coat and is taken into the digestive system.

Hair is primarily composed of keratin, a protein that is hard to digest. The hair will often clump together around undigested food in the cat's digestive system and will not pass all the way through.

The cat will then cough the hairball out its body. Why do cats cough up hairballs? If the hairballs are not regurgitated, they can obstruct the cat's digestion.

Can Hairballs Be Prevented?

You can reduce the number of hairballs your cat has to deal with, but it is difficult to eliminate them altogether.

The first and best way to limit hairballs is to brush your cat at least once a day.

There are also certain cat food formulas that are supposed to help your cat digest hair more easily.

Check with your vet to see which is most effective.

Why do cats cough up hairballs? Unfortunately, hairballs are just part of life for cats. Make sure you brush your cat often - then most hairballs can be prevented.

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